Serendipity

Umberto Eco, in a book titled “Serendipities: Language and Lunacy” wrote:

Columbus, on the contrary, burning with a sacred fire, good navigator but bad astronomer,
thought the earth smaller than it was. Naturally neither he nor the learned men of Salamanca suspected that between Europe and Asia there lay another continent. And so you see how complicated life is, and how fragile are the boundaries between truth and error, right and wrong. Though they were right, the sages of Salamanca were wrong; and Columbus, while he was wrong, pursued faithfully his error and proved to be right—thanks to serendipity.

Despite the current debate about who discovered America first; either Vespucci, Colombus, Chinese sailors, or even, on one seminar held in Jakarta; Indonesian sailors, Umberto Eco described what the meaning of serendipity to Colombus.

Colombus, while he was wrong, pursued faithfully his error and proved to be right-thanks to serendipity

Eco also told us how fragile the boundaries between right or wrong, truth or error. And I think, it can be applied to anything; whether it love, career, friendship, or everything. Does it right to chase the love of your life, if she already had someone?  Does it right to chose a career for the love of it, even if its under appreciated?

I think the same question had been answered by Colombus, before he decided to go to a place that he thought as “India”. And what happened next is just serendipity.  Its not about pure luck. Not about mystical rule of the universe. Not about the mysterious favor of Fortuna, the goddess of good luck in Greek Mythologies. Its about the fairness that nature gave to those whose pursued faithfully his dreams. Some would say that he’s just lucky. Some would say, it’s all about divine interventions. For me, its both of them; in the frame of a simple fortunate accident(s).

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